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Playboy TV Fined for Hardcore Broadcast

UK- Playboy TV has been fined £25,000 for screening a hardcore pornographic film in breach of the programme code. The content sanctions committee of Ofcom, the media watchdog, said yesterday the breach was “not to be tolerated” and fined the encrypted satellite channel for screening the film, Sandy Babe Abroad, shortly after midnight on May 1 last year.

“The committee was not able to determine whether the transmission of the material was deliberate. But even if it was not, the broadcaster was certainly negligent in permitting such a serious breach and should be sanctioned,” the committee said today.

Playboy TV, owned by Benelux Limited, is an encrypted channel seen only by subscribers, but it also screens free-to-air promotions.

Last May it made several breaches, including broadcasting material at 8.30pm on its free-to-air promotional channel that was too explicit and on another occasion screening an encrypted promotion before the watershed that should have been transmitted after 10pm.

Playboy TV admitted the breaches were serious but said the main breach had caused minimal offence because the film had been shown after midnight. “We made an error and we accept the adjudication,” Jeremy Yates, Playboy TV’s managing director, said today.

But Ofcom said Playboy had failed to train its staff properly.

“The free-to-air material was, in particular, insufficiently protective of the interests of children. For the avoidance of doubt, Ofcom wishes to make it clear that any such infringement is not to be tolerated.”

An R18 certificate is given to films that are within obscenity law but which the British Film Classification Board considers unsuitable for an 18 certificate. In practice it is given to hardcore porn that is banned from television and is only available from licensed sex shops.

 

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